The Texans knew they’d be in the job market around a month ago, when they fired Gary Kubiak.
But Kubiak’s official departure came two days after his replacement confided to a reporter that he wasn’t long for Penn State.
In a comprehensive look at Bill O’Brien’s departure from the college ranks for the Texans job — which O’Brien accepted last night — David Jones of PennLive.com detailed a Dec. 4 conversation with a frustrated O’Brien.
“That’s why, in probably about a month, they’re gonna be —-ing looking for a new coach,” O’Brien told him that night.
There seemed to be particular frustration with the political side of being a college coach, the glad-handing and recruiting that takes up more time than the football. Trying to manage that at a place wracked by the Jerry Sandusky scandal, and the legions of fans beholden to former coach Joe Paterno, was a line O’Brien tired of walking.
“You can print this: You can print that I don’t really give a —- what the ‘Paterno people’ think about what I do with this program,” he said. “I’ve done everything I can to show respect to Coach Paterno. Everything in my power. So I could really care less about what the Paterno faction of people, or whatever you call them, think about what I do with the program. I’m tired of it.
“For any ‘Paterno person’ to have any objection to what I’m doing, it makes me wanna put my fist through this windshield right now. . . .
“I’m trying to field the most competitive football team I can with near-death penalty —-ing sanctions. Every time I say something like that and somebody prints it, it’s skewed as an excuse. And I’m not an excuse-maker. I’m trying to do the best I can for the kids in that program. That’s all I care about is the kids in that program. As long as I’m the head football coach here.”
That led to the revelation he wasn’t going to be there much longer, likely knowing there was interest from the Texans before the final decision on Kubiak’s future was announced.
Being able to get back to the tunnel-vision world of the NFL is likely good for him, and his passion should be an immediate boost for a Texans team that fell flat this year, despite high expectations.